Wroxton Village Web Site
Editors Richard Woollacott & Sam Mitchell: Email- editorATwroxton.org.uk (Replace AT with the @ sign to save us spam!)
© Richard Woollacott unless otherwise credited
Reminiscences of Old Wroxton
And its Villagers
Old pictures, but particularly accounts of the characters who have lived in Wroxton and notable events in the village over the years. Get this recorded before it is all forgotten and lost.
Memories of the Sports Club
My wife said – This is our last anniversary. The next one is a big 50, but I have 2 big 50’s to ponder over I said, come September 2008 it will be 50 years as Secretary of Wroxton Sports Club.
Having loved football, I played in goal for Wroxton but gave up due to a knee injury just before getting married in March 1958. Come September 1958, the late Wally Kearse came and said he was leaving the village so I was sort of pushed into doing the Secretary job. At this time the football and cricket had amalgamated and were called Wroxton Sports Club. We shared the same ground and had a gentleman’s agreement to move over as each season came to an end. Mr John Neal was President and the late Tommy Taylor was involved with cricket. Tom as a farmer would lend us his tractor when the field wanted to be mowed. We relied so much on people’s goodwill in those days. One Saturday morning we had no football. Me and Les Payne went into the White Horse pub and passed a hat round so we could buy a football before we could play that day.
There has been a lot of fund raising events over the years to keep the club’s finances going – running Bingo every week when that was in fashion, bonfires on November 5th in the field, when the children made the bonfire and then brought their own fireworks to let off, selling jacket potatoes and coffee under a tarpaulin sheet with Eric Andrews.
I also remember a Charity Football match where all were husbands/wives. Men dressed up as women, women as men. The rules were men bowled under arm only. Most of the village came to watch. I cannot remember to this day who won, but I do remember having a stiff drink before going on to the field in a fairy frock. The fun days when we made fools of ourselves and finished with a pram race round the village. We shared ½ of our sponsor’s money with Leukaemia Research as one of our members was being treated for this at the time.
In 1960/61 we won the 2nd Division football for the first time so that meant that we now had to play the winners of Division 1 for the Banbury Guardian Cup at the Spencers Stadium. This was like going to Wembly for us. We booked a bus and a lot of the village came to see us play against Bloxham. The Banbury had already written us off in the paper and we knew that they had a party booked for that night. But surprise, surprise we beat them and came home with the cup and took it to the two pubs to celebrate that night! We decided that we would have a party also and the Hall was booked for the following Saturday. The ladies provided a salad etc.. The tickets were a sell out at 2/6d (half a crown). We went round the village collecting knives and forks all with different coloured wool on the handles so we knew where to return them to. The late Peggy Taylor had a gift for writing lyrics she put it together quick and it was all home entertainment. That was the start of our Annual Dinner Dance that went on for 15 years. We had a band and a 4 course meal. Tom Taylor would buy 2 of the largest turkeys at Banbury Cattle Market on the Friday. They would be taken to Freddie Warrens bake oven as they were always too big for domestic ones, The veg and tatties would be prepared on Friday and come 7.30 on Saturday the hot food would all arrive on cue. Mrs Gardner lived at what is now Wroxton Hotel and had just retired from being landlady of the New Inn. She gave us so much help and confidence.
I remember Tom Taylor’s speeches – about how his bed had broke the night before and Peggy kicking his foot under the table. The story of a trip in his old van taking a pig to Banbury Market and how when he got there was a hole in the van floor but no pig. He eventually found it in someone’s garden by Banbury Cross. His tales of cricket of how he had taken Jack Turner to play cricket at Sibford. Jack said on his way home “Did not expect to win that one. I heard their Captain tell the Umpire that he had a bag of spuds in his car for him. I never told him that I had a bag of spuds and a bag of Swedes.”
I have seen the Sports Club progress over the years. We now have a Fishing Club and a youth team on a Saturday mornings. At one stage there was a grass tennis court, but that has gone now.
At this stage I must say a big thank you to all who have help and support to the club over the years. There are so many, too many to put on a list, but with out them the club would not have survived. I hope that the plans for a new hall/sports pavilion will go ahead, we owe it to the next generation
I’ve just been browsing through the Wroxton website and reviving a few memories of my childhood and teens when I lived in Wroxton. I still get back fairly regularly so have seen the changes over the last thirty eight years but still look back with fondness on what I consider to be the old Wroxton – I guess the big change was the demolition of the old school and formation of the village green.
I read Tony Jarvis’s piece about the Sports Club – why doesn’t someone nominate for an honour for services to sport? – and remember personally many of the things he mentions because Tom and Peggy Taylor were my father and mother.
The photograph in the old photos section of the man and horse with the three children was in fact the same Tom Taylor sat on the front of the horse in about 1909/10. Holding it was my grandfather – Tom’s father - Thomas Taylor who would have been landlord of the North Arms at the time. Behind Tom were his sisters Ida and Agnes.
Later, they moved to Pool Farm where they took over from my great grandfather, another Thomas Taylor who farmed there until he retired. My father was christened Tom rather than Thomas and, although as oldest son, I too should have been Tom or Thomas, the tradition changed when I was named David. We’ve revived it again though because my son is also Tom Taylor so the name lives on.
The picture of the ducks being fed wasn’t as early as the sixties because the rock wasn’t put into the pool until the seventies and it was probably mid-seventies before the cottage behind the pool was modernized and the door put in the gable wall. I’ve no idea who the people feeding the ducks are but the one kneeling on the floor behind them looks as if he’s about to fall in – in which case he will have at least one essential needed to claim his place as a true Wroxtoner!
I also enjoyed looking at the pictures of Mrs Claydons 100th Birthday – Doesn’t she look well? Daughter Margaret was one of my very early girlfriends – if you ever see her, ask her if she remembers Polly the pony and the cart we used to take round the village. Happy days!